Why Do Women’s Running Shorts Have Liners?

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You’re at a pro athletics shop, maybe Nike, Under Armour, Dick’s, or REI. You’re going through the women’s clothes section, looking for shorts to wear every morning on your daily jog or to the gym.

Perhaps you’re looking with your daughter, who’s trying to find shorts for her soccer practices.

The more you look, the more frustrated you get. Why is there not a single pair of women’s pants in this blasted store that doesn’t have a liner? Why aren’t there any options without liners?

You’re heavily debating buying men’s shorts for a bit, then decide on trying a different store. But you find the same result when you’re in the next store. Why?

It seems as though these highly inconvenient shorts make you wear underwear with your pants not once but twice. You try to figure out why manufacturers could go through all of the hassles of making shorts even more complicated for no reason.

woman runner in motion wearing pink top and shorts with liners

Maybe so they can charge more because they have added extra, useless fabric? Maybe having two pairs of underwear on is more supportive when doing physical activity. Supportive of what? You discard the idea.

Built-in bras are one thing, but built-in underwear seems completely unnecessary. Or is it?

Liners are put in essentially all running shorts, as you’ve discovered. You can’t escape them. So, you had to dig even deeper to uncover the reasons behind the lined pants. And you’ve discovered us. Welcome!

We won’t drag out this mystery any longer. Why do women’s running shorts have liners?

Running shorts are designed to be worn without underwear. The liner in a pair of running shorts is designed for exercise and won’t chafe your skin.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have an understanding and greater appreciation (or just general acceptance!) of liners in running shorts and what they can do for you!

Why Lined Running Shorts: Chafing Protection

The idea is not for you to wear two pairs of underwear — the idea is for the built-in underwear to be the one you use.

You never put a bra under a built-in bra, do you?

Well, you never need to put underwear under the built-in underwear. And yes, that means no sharing, especially if it’s not freshly cleaned!

Running shorts’ liners are specifically designed to provide everyone, universally, with comfortable clothing when exercising.

You could assume that people have the correct type of underwear that won’t cause pain or discomfort, but not everyone will.

They might even blame the discomfort on the shorts when, in fact, it is the underwear they decided to wear!

female runner in black running shorts with liners

So, it’s better to build in underwear that is guaranteed to be lightweight and comfortable and give you one less thing to worry about when you’re focused and working hard to get your workout.

We all know that little discomforts or distractions like that can ruin an entire workout. We barely have the strength to keep going, much less keep adjusting our pants!

As I mentioned earlier, most types of underwear cause chafing against your upper inner thighs when they rub together too much during vigorous activity.

Specifically, underwear made of cotton (or thongs) will cause major issues if worn for long periods during workouts.

The underwear isn’t staying in place but instead sliding around, which causes the irritation and the blistering to develop and can result in a rash in that region.

With the exertion of your workout, sweat will run into the blisters and create a painful stinging sensation that may be the breaking point before you give up on the workout for the day.

As they are built-in, running shorts’ liners won’t slide around and shouldn’t ever cause chafing. You should be able to run without pain or discomfort.

Female runner stopping to catch her breath

Save Your Favorite Undies!

Another reason to let running shorts’ liners be the pair of underwear you use during a workout? You won’t ruin the underwear you currently own!

You may have invested in underwear you think is super cute for whatever reason — I mean, whenever you buy clothes, it should be because you like them and are excited to wear them!

Often we purposely wear clothes we love to the gym because it makes us feel cute and confident, motivating us to work harder. So maybe you’d wear your new, adorable lacey underwear to the gym. But it won’t be so cute for long!

Working out is a vigorous, aggressive activity, and most underwear isn’t made for that kind of abuse. Your underwear may wear out and tear or develop unsightly sweat stains that make you sad.

Don’t risk your favorite pairs of underwear; just let the running shorts’ liners do what they were made to do!

Ride Smoothly, Not Up!

Regular underwear slides around, so it will also ride up.

You may notice that, as you run, you can feel your underwear and pants climbing higher and higher until you’ve got a wedgie and have to pull them down.

No one likes pulling their pants down every so often — it’s a distraction from your workout, not to mention embarrassing to do in public!

However, the liners don’t ride up! How?

The liners are attached to the pants so that nothing will slide around or ride up. The liners also stay hugging your thighs, so they shouldn’t ride up.

woman running at seaside

Shorts That Keep You Dry

Have you ever heard of a jock itch? If you’re a serious athlete, you’ve probably had it at least once or twice in your career.

Jock itch is the rash that develops in your private areas, a region that is typically moist and warm.

Well, guess what?

Physical activity makes your body moist from sweat and warm from overheating! And in your private parts, which already are moist and wet, exercise can heighten these conditions even more!

Well, that’s the thing with the liners in running shorts: They wick moisture, which can help you avoid jock itch or that unpleasant, warm, wet feeling in your crotch.

These liners are, as you can imagine, made with moisture-wicking material, which leaves you feeling cool and dry rather than warm and moist.

It’s always nicer to feel cool and dry after your workout, especially in that specific area!

The liner will absorb any moisture, like sweat, that develops on your thighs. Then, the lined shorts will dry relatively quickly after that due to how they’re designed.

It’s a great design: pants that let you breathe, dry very quickly, and keep you cool the whole time!

It’s always nice not to feel a growing sense of suffocation under your clothes as your body works harder, warms up, and develops that uncomfortable feeling when it’s about to break into a sweat and it’s getting hot.

And after extreme sweating, it’s nice not to sit in the pool of moisture in your clothes.

With these moisture-wicking shorts, the moisture will be absorbed into the clothes and off of your body, leaving you with a pleasantly cool, dry feeling instead. A great way to motivate you to keep going. “Why stop? I’m feeling great!”

 female jogger with pink shorts running

To Sum Up the Above Points

In the simplest terms, lined running shorts eliminate frustrating distractions from your workout and make the experience more comfortable!

  • You don’t have to feel a growing sense of unease as your sweaty legs rub together, start to burn, and you realize you’ve just developed blisters that will take days to heal! Can you still work out with your thighs in such a condition?
  • You won’t have to experience the discomfort and annoyance of feeling your underwear and shorts ride up every minute, and have to break your pace and time pulling them down so that no one else sees.
  • You won’t have to worry about jock itch because the shorts will be breathable and dry enough to avoid developing that unpleasant rash.
  • You will be able to feel better as you work out because you are keeping your homeostasis with the aid of these lined pants, giving you a pleasant, cool, dry sensation rather than an overheated, sweaty, damp feeling no one likes during a workout.

Final Thoughts

Why risk making working out an unpleasant experience due to such uncomfortable warm, sweaty feelings or your pants riding up?

Why risk having to take a break from working out to recover from chafing or jock itch?

You can avoid these problems simply by wearing pants with a built-in liner that doesn’t slip around as you move and wicks moisture from your body, giving your skin cool, dry air.

Next time you’re at that athletics store, don’t scoff at the absurdity of lined pants. Instead, buy a pair for every workout day of the week and be able to enjoy your exercise, knowing that nothing is going to get in your way.


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